Last week, both Volocopter and Joby Aviation reported strong results that make the 2023-2024 target date look realistic. German Volocopter plans to launch its first urban air taxi service in 2023/24. It has already been said here that they have every chance of doing so, as the company, which is at the forefront of developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, has been testing its machines with passengers since 2016.
Volocopter has now held public flights with the Volocopter 2X at the Oshkosh Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the first time an eVTOL has been tested with humans in public in the US.
Joby Aviation, which acquired Uber’s air taxi project last year, is not yet done with human testing, but the Californian company still has something to be proud of, as last Tuesday they announced that they flew a life-size prototype 249 kilometres without landing. The remote-controlled air taxi circled the California company’s Big Sur base for 1 hour and 17 minutes, which calculates to an average speed of almost 200 km/h. This, by the way, still falls short of the promises made by Joby Aviation, which claims that the final vehicle will reach speeds of up to 320 km/h with four passengers on board.
Commenting on the test, the company’s CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, said that they had achieved what many thought was impossible, as Joby Aviation uses conventional lithium-ion batteries in its planes, which engineers estimate can last for around 10,000 flights.